Pupils in Symondsbury embraced the spirit of Carnival – as the school received a letter from a prestigious individual, praising it for its high standards.

The primary school held a weeklong celebration on the theme of Brazil and the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, with lots pupils getting stuck in to a whole host of creative and musical projects taking place.

The celebrations came as the school received a letter from Secretary of State for education, Nick Gibb, who singled the school out for praise for its high standards in mathematics and reading.

Headteacher Emma Roberts said: “We were very proud of our pupils last year for their achievements in their SATS because each of them worked incredibly hard to do their very best and to push themselves.

“To get this letter from the Secretary of State was a lovely surprise and fantastic recognition of the pupils and the staff – to be in the top one per cent of schools in the country is an amazing accolade.”

For the Carnival celebrations, the children researched various aspects of life in Rio de Janeiro and the traditions of the exciting annual carnival.

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a festival held every year in the run up to Lent and is considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets.

Pupils then embarked on learning activities, including making posters and flags as well as designing and decorating carnival masks and learning about the wildlife and landscape of Brazil.

Year 3’s classroom was turned into a rainforest complete with colourful howler monkeys and parrots while the children in class 2 tried their hand at Brazilian street chalk drawings.

The highlight of the week was a grand carnival parade through the village, which saw the children dressing in carnival clothes and using their own specially made shakers and instruments to recreate a Latin American atmosphere around the village.